Short Takes on High Yields


Nextel Communications Inc. said it will receive about $278 million next month from Craig McCaw and his relatives in the form of exercised stock options. The news made Nextel bonds trade up in the secondary market (see market story on p. 4). McCaw and his family, who own a combined 20% of the company, are expected to exercise options covering 17 million shares...

Albertson's Inc. agreed to sell more stores than originally thought to get the green light on a previous acquisition. It will divest 145 stores in California, New Mexico and Nevada to get the nod from regulators on its planned $12.9 billion purchase of American Stores Co. The deal will create the second-largest supermarket company...

Lucent Technologies Inc. won a $250 million order from high yield issuer Level 3 Communications for software, called Softswitch, that will allow it to provide high quality voice service to run on data networks. Level 3 plans to spread the expenses out over the next four years. It may, however, increase the total amount to about $1 billion and spread it over five years, depending on demand for the services...

Standard & Poor's assigned a double-B rating to the $1 billion convertible senior offering from Telefonos de Mexico S.A. (Telmex). The deal has a maturity of 2004 and the rating agency said the outlook is stable. Telmex is a leading telecom provider in Mexico, which, combined with a strong financial position, should outweigh Standard & Poor's expectation that the issuer's interest coverage will decrease over the coming years.